Mount Kimbie - Crooks & Lovers
Post-dubstep. Not a terribly exciting description for the debut full-length from London's Mount Kimbie. Nor does it do Crooks & Lovers much justice, as this album is certainly more than just some dubstep derivative. Taking cues from Four Tet et al., these guys create a sound that, while comparable to some of electronica's rising stars such as Gold Panda and Joy Orbison, is ultimately all their own.
Opening track 'Tunnel Vision' is a perfect introduction to the duo's sound. Strums of acoustic guitar over abstract beats and soulful, sampled vocals coming together in a soothing, hypnotic style. 'Before I Move Off' is as addictive a track as there is on the album, with its treated piano, strings and aquatic-sounding beeps all bathed in echo and punctuated with cut up female vocals. As much of a cliché as it is, these songs were made for enjoying in the summer sun. Even the tracks that could remotely be called 'dubstep' are brilliant, with 'Blind Night Errand' a bubbling ominous creature popping up towards the middle of the record.
'Carbonated' is a lulling piece with its background fizz, simple synth melody and more of the looped and sampled vocals that at times really transform the track into something incredibly catchy. It's the more organic and less obviously electronic songs on the album which make the most impact though, 'Ode to Bear' in particular is a highlight as it incorporates wind instrumentation, guitar and all manner of treated sounds to create something brilliantly otherworldly.
Mount Kimbie may have done something akin to what Four Tet did with Rounds, and made an album of danceable electronic music which can be enjoyed at anytime and truly makes some sort of emotional connection with the listener. Watch out for these guys bringing that special human touch to clubs and venues over the next year, but then again it's probably going to be hard to miss them.